Argentina: Hamas is the cause of the recent violence between Gaza and Israel

The government of Argentina issued a statement placing the blame for the violence at the Israel-Gaza border squarely on Hamas. 

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Argentina’s foreign ministry issued a statement Friday that put the blame for the recent clashes between Israel and Hamas squarely on the terrorist organization.

“The Argentine Republic expresses its deep concern over the recent escalation of violence in Gaza, caused by the firing of rockets into Israel,” the statement began, without mentioning the Israeli counterstrikes, let alone condemning them.

It continued with a call for the peace process to be resumed so that Israel could “exist peacefully alongside its neighbors, within secure and internationally recognized borders” and the Palestinians could have “a viable state based on the 1967 borders and in accordance with the agreements reached by the parties in the negotiation process.”

The change in tone from South America’s third most populous country is apparently a direct result of the change in government in 2015, when Mauricio Macri replaced Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Kirchner maintained a cold relationship with Israel during her time in office. She recognized ‘Palestine’ as a state in 2010 and was accused of deliberately refusing to go after Iran as the alleged planner behind Hezbollah’s infamous bombings of Jewish and Israeli targets in Buenos Aires that killed 114 and injured hundreds in 1992 and 1994.

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She signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Islamic Republic in 2013 that would have the two countries jointly investigate the attacks – a move widely seen in Israel as an attempted cover-up of the crimes. The state prosecutor who was planning to submit testimony against her in 2015 was murdered the night before he was to present his evidence to the government.

In contrast, as soon as he was elected, Macri promised to annul the MoU, appointed a prominent rabbi as his environment minister and told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Argentinian-Israeli relations would change for the better.

As the first acting Israeli prime minister to visit South America last September, making Argentina his first stop, Netanyahu praised Macri for his “commitment” and “integrity” in searching for the truth behind the bombings .

He immediately invited Macri to come to the Jewish state, which he had last visited as mayor of Buenos Aires, and arrangements for the trip are currently being made.